And the winner is...

Bob, 56, from Wilkinsburg

Artist Statement

This design was inspired by the ancient Sri Yantra designs of India, which connoted cosmic unity. I've given the old design a modern, folky twist. The background was made with oil pastels on tarpaper, and the lettering was made by cutting origami papers of yellow and deep blue. The “You Belong” lettering was inspired by a handmade font created by the artist Rick Bach.

Selected for its artistic merit from nearly 70 finalist submissions, this design will be produced as yard signs and posters freely distributed throughout Pittsburgh and Allegheny County.

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Bob Ziller

Artist, poet, translator, singer, curator, and publisher

Bob Ziller has displayed his artwork in more than 100 exhibitions in galleries and museums throughout the U.S., including the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Andy Warhol Museum, Mattress Factory, Chicago Cultural Center, Hunter Museum of American Art, Norton Museum of Art, Monterey Museum of Art, George Eastman House, Mendelson Gallery, and many others.

photo: Bruno Dolan

Come pick up a free poster or yard sign from The Sprout Fund's office!
5423 Penn Avenue in Garfield, open weekdays from 9AM to 5:30PM.

Jurors’ Reflections

When looking at the image, one cannot help but feel the artist’s hand at play. There is an energy, an intimacy found in the painting that invites you into the artwork. Pittsburgh is a city that invites closeness between its people. Pittsburgh must continue to invite closeness and be better at doing it as well.

The triangular patterns that joins together to make the quilted patterns resonated with me on how I always describe Pittsburgh: a trinity of three rivers hence, a holy place.

Borrowing from our industrial past, we are a community that is built by hand, reaching to one another, building together. I see these ideas when I look at this artwork. The separate pieces joining to create a whole, to create a support structure for the message of “belonging.”

The ideal Pittsburgh that I hold in my mind and in my heart is a city, my hometown, in which everyone belongs. The selected artwork spoke to this ideal, not just through the imagery and language but by the vary nature of how the artwork was created.

The pattern on the background of two strong words “YOU BELONG” is reminiscent of a quilt pattern; and quilting for me is a community activity often done by women almost meditatively while indulging in conversations that help them heal and grapple with whatever circumstances they are in.

Thank you to our jury of distinguished Pittsburgh art professionals.

Yesica Guerra, Sean Beauford, Blaine Siegel, Sarika Goulatia, and Diane Samuels

Community Voices

17 additional designs were selected for inclusion on a “community voices” poster. These designs received “honorable mention” designation by the jury of art professionals, were selected by a separate jury of local youth, or were among the top 5 most popular adult or youth submissions through the online public voting process.

Thank you to all who submitted, voted online, and participated on the juries!

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Pittsburgh is a place where we all belong.

This city owes its resilience to the spirit and creative energy of the people who have made Pittsburgh their home, built communities here, and contributed to our shared future. In 2017, at a critical time in our nation’s history, The Sprout Fund and its partners sought to positively affirm the notion that we all “belong” through a community art initiative.

Sprout invited people living in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County to submit original works of art that express the concept of “belonging.” Nearly 250 submissions were received, including many from local youth. Winners were selected through a combination of juried art processes and online voting that drew more than 14,000 votes.

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Community & Event Partners

Belonging was a collaboration between The Sprout Fund, the Office of Mayor William Peduto, and a team of local organizations committed to serving and advocating on behalf of immigrants and refugees, including:

1Hood Media
AIU Latino Family Center
Bhutanese Community Association of Pittsburgh
Casa San Jose
Change Agency
City of Asylum
Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council
Hello Neighbor
Northern Area Multi-Service Center Refugee Resettlement
Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition
South Hills Interfaith Movement
United Somali Bantu
Welcoming Pittsburgh
World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh

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Support for Belonging

Support for Belonging was generously provided in part by The Sprout Fund, The Heinz Endowments, Opportunity Fund, the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh, and these community members that stand with immigrants and refugees:

Alphabet City Development
Matt Hannigan
Anne Lewis
Cathy Lewis Long & Rob Long
Paul O’Neill
Oxford Development Company
Luke & Natalia Skurman

Special Thanks

Morton Brown, Belonging project manager
Tricia Monticello Kievlan, Sprout staff lead

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About The Sprout Fund

The Sprout Fund is Pittsburgh’s leading agency supporting innovative ideas, catalyzing community change, and making the region a better place to live, work, play, and raise a family. Sprout has worked with regional and national philanthropic partners to build strong networks and make hundreds of community-decided investments in early-stage projects, organizations, innovators, and activities.

Learn more about Sprout and the people, projects, and ideas we support »
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